Underwater Surfer
Photograph by Tony Heff, My ShotSurfer Coco Ho is momentarily suspended weightless between the ocean’s surface and the shallow reef.
Fraser Island, Australia
Photograph by Peter Essick, National GeographicTannin–rich runoff from Fraser’s interior stains the sea in the aftermath of a summer storm.

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Sailboat at Sea, Germany
Photograph by Patrick LieninWhile hiking at Jasmund National Park in northwest Germany, a rainstorm passed by and created a stunning scene! The sea was completely flat and the only thing out there was the tiny sailing boat.

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"Van Gogh" Algae
Image courtesy EROS/USGS/NASAIn the style of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” massive congregations of greenish phytoplankton swirl in dark water around Sweden’s Gotland (see map) island in a satellite picture released this week by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The image of the Baltic Sea island is 1 of 40 in the new Earth as Art 3 collection, the latest compilation of Landsat pictures chosen for their artistic quality.

"The collected images are authentic and original in the truest sense," Matt Larsen, the USGS’s associate director for Climate and Land Use Change, said in a statement. "These magnificently engaging portraits of Earth encourage us all to learn more about our complex world."

Population explosions, or blooms, of phytoplankton, like the one shown here, occur when deep currents bring nutrients up to sunlit surface waters, fueling the growth and reproduction of these tiny plants, according to the USGS.
Jellyfish, Palau
This Month in Photo of the Day: Animal Migration PhotosEach day five million jellyfish glide across the surface of Palau’s Jellyfish Lake to follow the sun—streaming eastward in the morning and westward in the afternoon—in a stunning daily migration. At night, the jellyfish sink down 45 feet (13 meters) to absorb nutrient-rich bacteria, which the algae in their bodies require to survive.
Surfing Buchupero, ChilePhotograph by Chris Burkard, Red Bull Illume
Category: Illumination

About the Shot
It was a last-minute decision to go to Chile. We sat in the pouring rain for days and days waiting for the swell to come. We thought we had planned it perfectly, but you can still get a winter storm in the fall.
We woke up the morning after the rains to howling offshore winds. The swell was pulsing and the conditions were as good as they get. We drove to a spot in the afternoon that the locals had said, “rarely breaks.” When we pulled up it was reeling left barrels for almost a football field’s length. We scrambled to get out and surf. i was sunburnt and tired and had no idea how to document this moment. The waves were some of the most I had ever seen, so I decided to risk it. I sprinted down the beach and hiked up a sand dune to get a pulled back perspective.
The shore break was so big, and the offshores’ plumes so high, that I was missing most of the best waves, but finally a set came through. The light, the wind, and the swell were perfect. It was as if everything in nature fell into perfect harmony for this single moment. As Peter Mendia eased into this wave, the backwash hit, sending a golden shower of water ten feet above his head, and sending him down the line of another 20-second barrel. —Photographer Chris Burkard